As one Thor closes, another must open. With the release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ rapidly approaching, there’s more discussion than ever as to the direction the MCU will move in the future.
Regarded as a turning point for cinematic colossus that is the MCU, ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ will bid farewell to some of the biggest and best characters we have come to know and love.
Since ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ was released in 2008, Marvel have slickly interwoven and steered their biggest heroes’ movies towards each other, culminating in the long-awaited and explosive mega movie that was ‘The Avengers’ in 2012.
Followed by ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ which grossed over $1 billion worldwide, it seemed like Marvel’s magic formula would continue to yield smash hits and cinematic firsts for years to come.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ could bid farewell to fan favourites such as Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Widely understood yet unconfirmed, it would seem that many of the largest stars’ contracts conclude after the movie set to be released in 2018.
Robert Downey Junior, Marvel’s golden boy, is guaranteed to star in ‘Infinity War’ and the highly anticipated ‘Spider Man: Homecoming.’ Other that, there are no more confirmed films for the superstar.
Chris Evans, one of the most consistent characters in the MCU, seems to have only one movie left on his roster. ‘Infinity War’ could see the last of the First Avenger in a major role, however co-director Joe Russo has stated that Steve Rogers will NOT return as Captain America, but will still be instrumental in taking down ‘the big Purple guy’ [Thanos]
Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo – notably absent from ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ – are set to star in Thor: Ragnarok, alongside Tom Hiddlestone. Ruffalo has signed a 6-movie deal with Marvel – of which he has only fulfilled 2 – So we can expect plenty of the Gamma grunt in the future. Hemsworth, for now at least, looks to be making his final incarnation as Thor in ‘Infinity War.’
Both Jeremy Renner and Scarlet Johansson seem to have made their penultimate appearances for The Avengers in ‘Civil War,’ with neither confirmed for any movies past ‘Infinity War,’ despite calls for a potential ‘Black Widow’ solo flick.
What next for Marvel?
With the meat of the main cast seemingly departing after ‘Infinity War,’ there has been plenty of speculation as to the direction the MCU will take following on.
One hugely popular character we can count on seeing is Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Debuting in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Boseman has signed a minimum 5 movie contract with Marvel, including a solo outing as the king of Wakanda.
Other lead characters will see the return of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Paul Rudd as Ant Man and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. The cast of ‘Civil War’ will be leading the fight in ‘Infinity War,’ with the original ‘Avengers’ cast supporting.
Exciting new potential characters set to fill the void include Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) The Collector (Benedicio del Toro) and Evangeline Lilly as Ant Man’s ‘The Wasp.’ Brie Larson is also cited to debut as a female Captain Marvel, paving the way for the possibility of Marvel’s first female-fronted film.
Debuting in ‘Civil War,’ Tom Holland’s ‘Spiderman’ web-slung onto our screens as a young, inexperienced, yet enthusiastic hero. Setting a solid precedent as a combatant, with plenty of wit to boot, ‘Spider Man: Homecoming’ has the chance to open up an avenue for the third major reboot of Spider Man, following on from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Confirmed as one of Robert Downey Jr’s last major appearances as Iron Man, the movie is set to be released in July, 2017.
With nearly 2 years to wait until the next major MCU blockbuster, there’s still an opportunity for even more new characters to appear. One thing that the new kids on the block in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ made clear is that that the ‘Avengers’ super-franchise and more importantly, the MCU, is far from done with us.